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Pa. again offering rebates for solar installation

By Bo Koltnow, Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 26 2013 03:54:31 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 26 2013 04:29:57 PM CST

You may wonder whether plugging into the sun can save you big bucks on your electricity bill.

You may wonder whether plugging into the sun can save you big bucks on your electricity bill.

Solar companies have been pushing it for years, and once again, Pennsylvania is, too.

It's called the Pennsylvania Sunshine Program. From 2009 to 2011, the program helped hundreds of homeowners and business install solar panels. The program went dark in 2012, but it's back and could help you switch to the sun.

Start-up costs for solar can hit upward of $50,000.

"One of the neat things about solar is that it's very scalable," said Brian Baker, of Renu Building and Energy Solutions in Orefield, Lehigh Co., which has been installing solar since 2005. "Do you want your house to be a net-zero house, or are you looking at to just cut your electricity bill?"

The decision, Baker said, plays a big part in the price. Dimensions determined at home consultations also help to set the price-point.

On this cloudy day, Baker shed light on governmental programs that can make switching to solar a sweet deal.

It offers up to a $7,500 rebate, however, the $7.25 million program will last only until the end of the year or until the money dries up.

There is, however, a bright spot. The federal government's 30 percent total cost tax rebate will be in place until 2016.